• Featured,  Print Edition

    Nick Liebler, LEED AP

    Nick Liebler, LEEP AP, architect, and partner at White & Liebler Architects in Petoskey, Michigan is inspired by the idea of craft in design.  “You’re creating something that didn’t exist before, so the challenge of being able to take a given set of ideas and turn it into something tangible—that would be what is most exciting to me about design,” Liebler said. “It is just the opportunity to create something and use your imagination to develop something within a set of parameters.”  Having fallen in love with the craft of building and creating homes through working in the construction industry, Liebler noted the commercial work was a bit different than…

  • Print Edition

    Kevin Montgomery, AIA, LEED GA

    “A few years ago, I really decided to embrace the idea of you don’t know what you don’t know. Our job is something that the best of them are in their prime when they are in their final stage of their career, potentially, and it is because you can continue to master more and more of what goes into the building since there is so much to it,” said Kevin Montgomery, AIA, LEED GA, architect and partner at KrM Architecture+ in Indianapolis, Indiana.  Montgomery’s own beginning with architecture was somewhat of a family affair: his father is a practicing architect and his grandfather founded KrM Achitecture+ in Anderson, Indiana in…

  • Architecture,  Form,  Print Edition

    Kenneth C. Richmond, AIA

    For Ken Richmond, AIA, founder, and partner at Ken Richmond, Architect in Traverse City, Michigan, a day in the life will often see him spending a certain amount of time interacting with clients and consultants, office time, and field time, and dealing with the process of building—which he pointed out is different than the end result.  “To me the process is 90 percent of what we do and arguably more interesting, more important, and a lot of times more fun than the actual product, the actual end result,” Richmond said. While collaborating with clients during the design process—and often consultants as well—Richmond said there is a great deal of time…

  • Design Spotlight

    Iron and ivory

    “There was something consistent no matter where I studied and that was the principles of Vitruvius, who was an architectural philosopher in the Roman Empire. He really stressed good design is focused around three main components, which is feasibility, beauty, and durability; so essentially function, beauty, and strength,” said Kayla Pongrac, principal, designer, and co-founding partner of Iron and Ivory in Ontario, Canada. “That is the philosophy behind our brand.” Iron and Ivory is an interior design firm with a collaborative environment led by Co-Founding Partners Pongrac and Rnea Garrah from its two locations in Ottawa and Toronto, Ontario. At its core, the small firm embraces a philosophy inspired by…

  • Creative Endeavors

    Tactile language

    In the 1990s, Founder and Artistic Director Iris Wang noticed sunlight through a cascade of maple leaves outside of her kitchen window, which doubled as her studio at the time for the humble warehouse operations of Brentano Inc. It would serve as the catalyst for the small company as Wang then blended a painted Japanese-inspired maple leaf with a series of sketched horizontal lines derived from bamboo shades—putting Brentano in the black and well on its way to becoming the international textile house and fabric source that it has become today.  “In the past there were a lot of fabrics that were only pretty to look at, but you couldn’t…

  • Travel

    Motion in choreograph

    “We are an idea-based firm. We can pivot off of any design problem and I think program is really just a vehicle to test ideas,” said Dwayne MacEwen, AIA, principal and creative director at DMAC Architecture P.C. in Evanston, Illinois. “Whether it is a hospital or a restaurant, I think you need to understand how it functions and it works, but it is still a vehicle to test some ideas and what is a food design for that particular problem or space.” When the Midtown Athletic Club and the Hotel at Midtown opened in 2017 at the intersection of Elston, Damen, and Fullerton Avenue in Chicago, Illinois, it reflected a…

  • Design

    The seasonal garden

    By: R.Collins  As autumn continues to envelop Michigan landscapes, the time has come to prepare for the winter months and the blooms to come after the snow thaws.  Sarah Sella, landscape designer at Alfresco Landscapes LLC in Grand Rapids, Michigan, said introducing seasonal plants to the garden in the fall when the rainfall is cool and steady and the hot temperatures have dissipated, allows plants a gentle environment in which to take root.  “Now is the time to plant your spring flowering bulbs,” Sella said. “Sometimes people want daffodils in the spring time and then, suddenly, it’s spring already and you’ve missed your window of opportunity. They have to be…

  • Creative Endeavors

    Prospective learning environments

    Text: R. Collins  As technology and modern knowledge become intensely packed into our personal spheres, grade schools and collegiate institutes—the spaces we tend to rely on to make sense of it all—carry an immeasurable importance in the present and future of learning. Whereas in the mid-twentieth century teaching practices promoted linear, regimented teaching styles, which popularized images of front-facing desks bolted to the ground, school design now must cater to the ways in which different types of students absorb and interpret information, explained Peter Baldwin, AIA, NCARB, president and principal at AMDG Architects in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  With a diverse educational design portfolio featuring projects in West Michigan school systems—such…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Travel

    Art on theMART

    By: R. Collins On September 29, 2018, theMART, formerly known as The Merchandise Mart, will host a series of curated digital artworks projected across nearly 2.5 acres of its exterior riverside façade after dusk around 7:15 p.m., launching an inaugural program known as Art on theMART.  The inaugural exhibition will showcase the works of renowned artists Diana Thater, Zheng Chongbin, Jason Salavon, and Jan Tichy; exploring genres and subject matter while using the digital model as a springboard for visual arts in the 21st Century. The artists were selected and commissioned by Art on theMART in consultation with a curatorial advisory board shaped by theMART and the City’s Department of…